Tom Brady 'open-minded' about future as return to Patriots becomes more uncertain

Tom Brady’s status for 2020 is the underlying storyline as the NFL prepares for Super Bowl LIV.

Brady has been adamant about playing until he’s 45 years old, which means at least two more seasons and two more chances to win his seventh Super Bowl title. However, the legendary quarterback may not be in a New England Patriots uniform come kickoff in September. He told Fox News contributor Jim Gray on his Westwood One radio show Sunday that he’s “open-minded” about the free-agency process.

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“I am open-minded about the process and at the same time I love playing football and want to continue to play and do a great job,” Brady said. “I am looking to what is ahead. Whatever the future may bring, I will embrace it with open arms.”

Brady’s contract voids once the offseason begins in March. According to NFL.com, he cannot be franchise tagged due to a certain provision in his contract that prevents it.

Brady has spent his entire career with the Patriots. CBS Sports reported Sunday that it would be “surprising” if Brady re-signs with New England and that he “intends to take a methodical approach to his first foray into free agency” and will “weigh all options” before deciding on the next move.

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Brady told Gray earlier this month that he’s been focusing more on “decompressing” than on his next contract. He said he wasn’t putting a timetable on his plans for his future.

“The contract things, a week after the season, I would say these things haven't even started to pick up. It's really not my concern at this point,” Brady said. “It's been about decompressing and resting my mind a little bit and resting my body and spending time with the people who have supported me over the last six months.”

Brady reiterated his plans to play in 2020, something he also suggested in an Instagram post. He added that the speculation around his retirement wasn’t going to make his decision come any quicker.

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“I can only say how I feel, and that's what's the truth to me and what's authentic to me,” he said. “And, I have no decision that I have made, and there won't be for some considerable time, so I know there is speculation; there always is. That's just part of being in professional sports. That's part of being a professional athlete.

“When people aren't talking about this season, they want to talk about next season, and the reality is that next season is quite a ways away. I have some other things that are happening at this time: like I said, spending some time with my family, my loved ones and giving them the time they need. And then, as people begin to plan for next season, like I said, these things will take care of themselves.”

The Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas Cowboys and Las Vegas Raiders have all been rumored to be destinations for Brady if he decides to leave New England.